On Friday, 6-year-old Carter John Trana will be laid to rest next to his great-grandfather, Max Thames, who died five months earlier in a Crosslake house fire.
Carter John died Sunday after a ramp for a skid-steer trailer fell on his chest at his home in Breezy Point. It's a tragic accident his parents, Peter and Kelly Trana, don't want to see another family endure.
"Anything old and yucky like that, get rid of it or make it child-safe," Kelly Trana said of the trailer, which didn't have locks or chains to secure the ramps. "Children are curious - if it's not them it could be a neighbor's child."
Kelly remembers looking at the clock at 9:11 a.m. Sunday. Less than four minutes later she was in her front yard, performing CPR on her youngest child and having another son, 8-year-old Rylie, call 911.
Carter John Trana, 6, died Sunday after a ramp on a skid-steer trailer fell onto his chest at his home in Breezy Point. His parents are hoping that Carter John's death will remind parents to make the outside of their homes safe for children.
Carter John started the day in the house with Rylie. He wanted to plant seeds in a garden he had made as a surprise for his mother on Friday. While Kelly was in the bathroom getting ready and Rylie was getting dressed, Carter John went outside. Moments later, Rylie followed.
That's when Kelly said she heard Rylie twice scream Carter John's name. Then came a scream for mom.
Rylie told his parents that when he came outside he found Carter John pinned under one of the ramps on the trailer. Rylie lifted the heavy ramp off his brother and when Kelly arrived she started CPR and told Rylie to call 911. Within minutes she said her yard was swarming with emergency personnel. Peter was working at the time.
Despite the efforts of everyone involved, Carter John was pronounced dead about a half-hour later.
The Tranas have spent the past two days wondering what they could have done differently. They've come to the conclusion that there wasn't anything they could do.
"It may have happened regardless, even if I was right down there," Kelly said.
No one saw how the ramp ended up falling onto Carter John. His grandfather, John Orlando, said the best guess is that Carter John might have tripped between the ramps and grabbed one as he fell. Or he might have tried to crawl on it, but the Tranas said they had explained to their three boys, Christofer, Rylie and Carter John, that they were not to play around the trailer and the boys had listened.
"My boys would go out and play and I always felt safe, that they were OK," she said. "They knew the rules, knew the limits."
Carter John's death was ruled as a "tragic accident" by the Breezy Point Police Department. Police Chief Steve Rudek said the accident was difficult on the officers who responded, one of whom has a boy about the same age also named Carter.
"We pulled out all stops, tried everything we possibly could," to save Carter John, said Police Chief Steve Rudek. "It's a sad thing."
For the family, remembering how Carter John lived is a source of comfort.
Kelly said her son was an outside person and adventurous who would try everything once. She described him as comical, feisty and mischievous, as well.
His outgoing attitude had earned him two nicknames - Trouble and Edge.
"He did everything he could that his brothers would do; he would even say, 'I can do it better,'" she said. "Anything he saw, he wanted to try and he was good at it. He put his whole effort into it and he'd concentrate hard and he'd get mad if wasn't right. He was persistent. He wouldn't give up until he figured it out."
Peter recalled a boy who always had a smile on his face, was always waving to the neighbors and who was always willing to help others, regardless of the task.
At church, Carter John made sure to hug and kiss the other members and his kindergarten teacher at Eagle View Elementary School in Breezy Point told his parents that he was always a leader, Peter said.
"He showed girls how to change diapers with babies and showed boys how to make campfires outside, all kinds of thing," Peter said. "His teacher said you've just got to point him in the direction you want to go and he'll lead."
Carter John's funeral service will be Friday at Crosslake Christian Assembly of God Church in Crosslake with burial to follow in Pinewood Cemetery. Visitation is 5-7 p.m. Thursday at the Brenny Funeral Chapel in Crosslake.
"We're going to miss him a lot, that's for sure," Kelly said. "He was an amazing little boy."
MATT ERICKSON may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5857.
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